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~Things to Know about Ground Beef, aka Hamburger~

IMG_6853Hamburgers, sloppy Joe'smeatloaf, chili, tacosstuffed peppers, etc.  Unless one is a vegetarian, ground beef, commonly referred to as hamburger because of the iconic all-American 'burger, is used in households all across America.  I'm guessing on this next point, but, ground beef has got to the number one way we Americans buy our beef.  If onef is on a budget or has a lot of people to feed. in today's economy, it's modest price tag makes it even more popular.  

Everyone knows that ground beef is beef that's been ground or finely-chopped.  The grinding process itself tenderizes tough cutswhile adding fat from leaner cuts which reduces dryness and adds flavor to the end product.  What everyone doesn't know is there are four types of ground beef, and, it does matter what kind of ground beef you buy.  Why?  Where the beef is cut from, the ratio of fat-to-lean and the coarseness of the grind all affect the the dish being prepared.

The four types of ground beef:  regular, chuck, round & sirloin.

Regular ground beef typically contains the highest fat content, up to 30%, because it's cut from the trimmings of inexpensive cuts like brisket and shank.  Regular ground beef is also the most economical form of ground beef as well as the juiciest and most flavorful.  The fat content, however, also means that the meat will shrink considerably when cooked.

Ground chuck has a lower fat content, about 20%, and comes from the front area of the animal around the shoulder.  Ground chuck is a great all-purpose ground beef because it is not a fatty as regular ground beef yet still has a lot of flavor.  Ground chuck is often marketed as lean ground beef.  Ground chuck is indeed my go-to ground beef and  choice for making hamburgers.

Ground round is even lower in fat content, about 15%, which also means it's less flavorful.  It comes from the lower end of the cow near the tail area.  If one is planning to cook ground beef into a meat sauce are sauté it along with flavorful vegetables, ground round's lower fat content makes it an ideal option.  Ground round is often marketed as extra-lean ground beef.

Ground sirloin is the leanest form of ground beef.  It contains about 10% fat (and always less then 14%) and comes from the midsection of the animal.  Ground sirloin is indeed the healthiest of all ground beef options, but, it is the dryest, least flavorful too.  That said, for folks on a budget, ground sirloin is, unfortunately the most expensive of the four forms of ground beef.    

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d123b926970c"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023


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